Former trade union rep Angela Rayner has secured the formal support of Labour-affiliated UNISON for her deputy leadership campaign.
Widely seen as the clear frontrunner in Labour’s secondary leadership race, the endorsement was expected to go to Rayner as she was a UNISON representative before after training as a care worker.
The union became Rayner’s path into the Labour Party, which she joined during her time as a rep before being elected as the MP for Ashton-under-Lyne in 2015.
The decision to nominate both Rayner as deputy and Keir Starmer in the main leadership race was taken by UNISON’s Labour Link committee that is made up of party members.
Commenting on the news, UNISON general secretary Dave Prentis said: “Angie has a long association with UNISON as a member and a union rep and has an intimate understanding of the day-to-day struggles facing working people and their families across the UK.
“Angie’s popularity across the party means she is the right person to handle the challenges of this job. Angie will make a great deputy leader if elected.”
Rayner tweeted: “I am absolutely honoured to get the nomination for deputy leader of the Labour Party from my union @unisontweets. I have been a representative of Unison and they have supported me over many years, right from being a member, steward, convenor and now a candidate”.
Vice chair of UNISON’s Labour Link committee Linda Hobson added: “Angela Rayner has been a care worker and a dynamic campaigner for UNISON, representing the needs of workers, before entering Parliament.
“Unlike so many out-of-touch career politicians, Angie has had a real job, a real life and has faced the sort of difficulties experienced by millions of people in communities across the country. She’s not someone who has spent their career in the Westminster bubble.
“If elected, Angie will be a powerful passionate voice at the top of the party to win back voters and create a brighter future.”